6 Tips to Conquer a Phone Interview

Scoring an interview when applying for jobs is like hitting the jackpot. It's your initial step in the door, a first impression, and you've already piqued their interest enough for them to want to meet you.

But here's the thing– just shy of 60% of interviewers have made a decision about your suitability within the first 15 minutes of meeting you, 25% deciding within the first 5 minutes. Knowing the time an in-person interview can consume, it's no surprise that many companies are moving the initial meeting to a phone interview. With 250 applications per job listing on average, hiring managers need to slim down their applicant pool, and a phone conversation can do just that in a matter of minutes.


Those first 5 minutes can make or break your potential relationship with a company, so you'd better rock that phone interview! You should already know that it's important to prepare like you would for a traditional interview, but past that, we've got you covered with tips to win you Interview Number Two.


1) Resist the urge to prepare notes.

Anticipating questions and preparing answers is a great process to ready yourself for the interview, but having those answers in front of you during the call won't be helpful or go as smoothly as you hope. Some quick notes of projects you want to mention or questions you want to ask are fine to have, just avoid sounding like you're reading your response.

2) Tell your roommates to be quiet, and feed your pet.

Unexpected things happen! Just ask this BBC guest whose children interrupted his on-air interview. Don't be afraid to be over-prepared on this front - tell anyone you live with to be quiet during the interview time, and feel your dog beforehand. Nobody wants to hear a whining pup in the background of a business phone call.

3) Smile while you talk. 

Believe it or not, smiling while speaking will actually make quite a difference. Your voice tone goes up and you sound more enthusiastic and upbeat. It might feel a little phony at first but trust us, it'll pay off, and they won't even notice.

4) Use headphones.

Think about all those long phone calls with mom – is anyone comfortable holding a phone up to their ear for an extended period of time? If you were interviewing in person you'd have free reign to use your hands, so make this feel as normal as possible and try headphones with a microphone in them.


5) Listen carefully.

Since the candor of an in-person conversation is missing from a phone interview, it is more important than ever to listen intently, avoid interrupting, and don't let pauses sit for too long. Body language is obvious when you're sitting across from someone, but too much silence on the phone is uncomfortable.

6) Ask about next steps.

With a phone interview, it can be hard to know what to expect. Is this a pre-interview? Will you be expected to show up for an in-person interview or another phone interview? All companies do things differently, so there's a good chance you'll want to set a plan before hanging up. Ask if they are interviewing other candidates, if you should expect a next interview, or simply, when you should expect to next hear from them.


Good luck!

Posted: 10/2/2017 11:46:45 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments